Hampton seeks input on town hall

 The town of Hampton is seeking the input of local residents regarding the town hall.

Officials are trying to determine what direction to take in concerns to the town hall and will give residents an opportunity to voice their opinions on the subject during a special meeting to be held next month.

“We need to collect information, determine our goals-what we need and why need it-and develop a plan,” Supervisor Dave O’Brien said.

The offices, which are also home to the Hampton Town Court and are located adjacent the highway garage on State Route 22A, have fallen into a state of disrepair over the years and the town has steadily outgrown the facility.

O’Brien admitted during last week’s meeting that the current building “has a lot of issues.”

It’s not easily handicap accessible, does not contain separate offices for town officials, and lacks adequate space to store records, most of which sit on a set of shelves on the buildings’ southern wall. An audit of the town court also raised concerns about the buildings security.

In an unofficial survey of residents by the planning board, residents also said the building was “hot in the summer, cold in the winter,” lacked space for community groups and events, and needed more space for the storage of town history.

The town essentially has three options: stay put, repair and renovate the current building, build a new facility, or find a local civic organization-which there are few of in Hampton-willing to share its space.

O’Brien said officials need to outline what they want in a town hall and determine whether they can be accomplished at the current site or somewhere else. 

He said Jim Sheldon is expected to look at the foundation and determine an estimate for repairs and officials may explore the costs of adding on to the current facility or building a new one altogether.

Councilman Dave Perry asked members of the Hampton Volunteer Fire Department if they would be interested in sharing some of their building and turning it into a multi-use facility.

“From my point of view it seems dumb to have two furnaces and two septic (systems),” Perry said, implying that the town and the fire company could save money if they shared resources.

However, Fire Chief Joe Mead said space was limited.

“There really isn’t enough room. I wouldn’t want to lose any space,” he replied.

Mead said members may be more receptive to the idea in 2014 after a lease with the Post Office expires, possibly freeing up more space.

O’Brien said he would like to figure out construction costs (whether on the current building or elsewhere) before deciding whether to wait.

“We can’t let it go. We need to a look at things. We need to be proactive,” he said.

A meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the town hall and all Hampton residents are encouraged to attend. 

In other matters, the board approved contracts with the Hampton Fire Department and the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Department to provide fire protection in the town.

Hampton will cover fire district one and Fair Haven will provide coverage in fire district two.

Officials are also expected to explore costs of a new time clock in the town garage and O’Brien and Budget Officer Kim Perry were going to meet with officials at TD Bank to discuss fees the bank has said they are going to begin charging to municipal accounts and then decide whether to stay with the bank or go elsewhere.

The town also continues to search for a dog control officer and anyone interested in the position is encouraged to call the town offices.

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Northshire Freepress 12/19/14

North Country Freepress – 12/19/14

Weekender 12/12/14

Lakes Region Freepress 12/19/14

Classifieds 12/17/14

Girls fall to Greenwich in opener

A stingy defense was too much for Granville to overcome in season opener Friday night. Granville was held to seven […]

Girls compete with Cougars

The Whitehall girls’ basketball team (0-3) is still seeking its first win of the season. However, the girls stuck with […]

Boys’ hoops handed first loss

After leaping out to a 2-0 start, the Whitehall boys’ basketball team was grounded at North Warren, 65-43. To say […]

Main Street rebounding, says dog salon owner

Dog Salon

By Dan King Malin Shepherd’s new dog salon on Main Street is a sign, she says, that the street is […]

What are you drinking?

Whitehall water

By Dan King If you live in the Village of Whitehall, your drinking water is perfectly healthy. That’s what the […]

Dared by friends, she write a novel

Author

By Derek Liebig It started with a dare. A few years ago, Granville resident Michele Sargent was having lunch with […]

Town to host hearing on fire protection

By Derek Liebig The town board will hold a public hearing later this month on proposed contracts for fire protection […]